A Selection of International Children's and Youth Literature

English / USA

The crossover

Alexander, Kwame (text)
Boston [et al.]: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014. – 237 p.
ISBN 978-0-544-10771-7

Basketball – Twins – Jealousy – Coming of age – Death – Grief – Verse novel

African-American twins Jordan (aka JB) and Josh are basketball whizzes; and no wonder with a trainer like their father, former basketball legend Chuck “Da Man” Bell. As a team, nothing can beat them. Yet all of a sudden, JB develops a crush on the new girl at school and spends less and less time with his twin or on the basketball court. Twelve-year-old Josh feels jealous and lonely. One day, he lashes out, which causes a serious rift between the two brothers. Told from Josh’s point of view, the moving novel, which was awarded the John Newbery Medal 2015, focuses on a hard year in the twins’ lives, as they need to negotiate their relationship, hone their individual talents, and deal with the sudden loss of their beloved father. Kwame Alexander’s language includes rhythmic, rap and hip hop verses to describe the fast action on the sports court and smoothly flowing free verse to reveal eloquent Josh’s feelings. His powerful narrative will draw in basketball buffs as well as couch potatoes. (Age: 12+)